Letter To Election Candidates - Assisted Dying and Abortion
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Posted on: 27th June 2024

This letter is available to be used to contact election candidates on the subject of assisted dying and abortion, signed by Christian leaders across Leeds.


Letter to election candidates on assisted dying and abortion

Date: 25/06/2024

Dear Candidate,

As Church and Christian leaders in Leeds we are writing this letter on the difficult and sensitive issues of assisted dying and abortion. The topic of assisted dying has become more prevalent over this last year and there could well be a real situation where this becomes law in the next parliament. We understand that many adults suffer significant physical pain when they enter their last years, months, weeks and days of life. We acknowledge that government, families, society as a whole, including the Church, need to play their part in supporting people compassionately in these situations. This includes good palliative care which helps provide dignity at the end of someone’s life. We also acknowledge that there may be specific times when certain forms of medical assistance, with approval of a doctor, may be deemed not to be appropriate and therefore can be withdrawn, to allow nature to take its course and allow a patient to pass away.

We match these desires with expressing our real concern that should assisted dying be able to take place in Leeds and the UK vulnerable adults, who are often older, will feel pressurised into feeling they should end their life in order to release financial and emotional pressure on family members and friends. We share the concerns of some of the people who look after those who are disabled and that in a time of overstretched public services, where health and social care budgets are struggling, disabled people, who may not be deemed to have capacity, are at risk of having decisions made for them which will result in them dying against their will. We also show concern that as a consequence of assisted dying becoming law there would be the increased fear of forced death developing amongst disabled communities.

Even when adults do have capacity we state that as Christians we believe as the bible indicates God gives life and God takes life away ( Job 1:21) and it is not humankind who should end life in a civil society. In light of what we have said we request that should you be elected as an MP you advocate against assisted dying during parliamentary procedures and, should there be an official vote on the subject in the House of Commons we ask you to
vote against this.

Simultaneously, and on what we believe to be a related topic, we write to voice our concern regarding the high levels of abortion in Leeds and throughout the UK. It is with great sadness we read that in England and Wales over 250,000 abortions occurred in 2022 with the Yorkshire and Humber region seeing 17 in every 1000 women carry out an abortion (gov.uk abortion statistics 2022 England and Wales). As Christians, we believe that the loss of every unborn child is tragic both for society and for the mothers and fathers of those children who are aborted, with often hidden physical and emotional costs involved when a woman or a couple go through with a termination.

As Christians we believe strongly that every unborn child should have the right to see the light of day and be born into this world. Only in exceptional e.g., when there is a serious risk to the mother’s life, do we believe that abortion should be allowed to take place. The high level of pregnancies terminated through elective abortion is highly regrettable and we encourage all politicians to take action so that the numbers can be significantly reduced.

We are saddened and perplexed by the British Parliaments attempt to prevent peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion centres taking place. These prayer vigils are targets of a clause in the Public Order Bill that would prevent them happening within 150 metres of an abortion facility. In the past these prayer vigils are something that a number of women have been glad took place as it helped them to make the decision to go ahead with their pregnancy.

In the scriptures we read that God ‘created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13). We believe that life is sacred including when an unborn child is growing in a mother’s womb. We therefore conclude this letter by asking that you as a member of parliament advocate for the following:

- A reduction in the timeline where abortions can take place, thus not allowing abortions to happen up to the point of 24 weeks but stating that the threshold should be significantly lower. We state this in part because with advances in medical care, it is now possible for babies to survive with help when born at 22 weeks.
- The removal of ‘do it yourself at home’ abortion kits, which themselves can be dangerous to those who use them.
- The right for Christians and other members of society to peacefully have prayer vigils and offer leaflets at the Abortion Clinic, advocating for the right to life of the unborn child.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this letter. We would be grateful for a response.

Yours faithfully

Chris Frost – Head Elder at Gateway Church
David Flowers – Senior Leader of Leeds Vineyard Church
Karen Gray - Crossgates Community Church (Leader)
Toyosi ILORI – Senior Pastor, Amazing Life Church
Dave Paterson – Project Manager at Unity in Poverty Action (UPA)
Pastor Elizabeth Osunde
Pastor Seyi Dasaolu, In His Presence Foursquare Gospel Church, Leeds

Pastor Monisola Jonusa, Amazing Life Church
Rev’d Jon Swales (Priest, Church of England)
Jonathan Gray – Crossgates Community Church (Leader)
Chris Redding – Leeds Coordinator for 40 Days for Life
Lesley Davy – Pastoral Associate at Gateway Church
John Davy – Pastoral Associate at Gateway Church
Andy Lancaster – Associate Pastor at Bridge Community Church
Duncan Stow – Minister at Cragg Hill Baptist Church
Pastor Olu Ogunyanwo – In His Presence Four Square Church, Leeds
Pastor Denver Thompson
Steve Haines, Leadership Team Mosaic Church
Tony Parry – District Bishop (New Testament Church of God, Leeds)
Ian Collinge – Mosaic Church Leeds
Helen Collinge – Mosaic Church Leeds
Senior Pastor, Olusola Ransome Kuti – The Amazing Grace Christian Centre
Rev Ebenezer Aryee – Director Afro Diaspora Mission Network (ADMIN)
Anthony Tembo Deacons @ Gateway Church
Faith Tembo Deacons @ Gateway Church.
Isaiah Oyedele – Lead Pastor @ Chosen Church
Adejoke Oyedele – Lead Pastor @ Chosen Church
Gabriel Yidana – Pastor of Good Shepherd Church
Rev Mark Harlow (Priest, Church of England)
Chris White Pastor @ Bramley Christian Church
Jonathan Ferreira Powell – Co Leader of YWAM Arise Leeds
Candy Ferreira Powell – Co Leader of YWAM Arise Leeds
Linda McCreesh
Jules Cosham


phone07903 123283



authorNetwork Leeds

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